White House Watch: Big Dog Unleashed

Photo: Carey Bodenheimer CNN

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, aka “The Big Dog,” returned to the campaign trail on Monday to give a speech in support of his wife, Hillary.

Speaking at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire, Clinton said Hillary is practicing a brand of “politics that are inclusive enough to actually get something done.” The nation’s 42nd President said the 2016 election is “about restoring broadly shared prosperity, rebuilding the middle class.”

While in New Hampshire, Clinton steered clear of any verbal jousting with Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump. Appearing on Fox News’ New Years Eve program from his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago private club, Trump said if he gets the Republican nomination he would be the Clintons’ “worst nightmare.”

Early indications are Trump appears headed for a GOP takeover. With just under a month to go before the Iowa Caucuses, the billionaire businessman leads a Real Clear Politics national poll of Republican candidates with 35 percent support. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas places second in the same poll with 19.5 percent followed by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (11.5 percent), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (8.8 percent) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (4.8 percent).

Cruz embarked on a bus tour of Iowa this week aimed at whipping up support among the state’s evangelicals. Several polls have Cruz leading in the Hawkeye state making him a target for Trump’s brash rhetoric.

“Not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, OK.” Trump told a crowd in Iowa last month.

Cruz, 45, who identifies as Southern Baptist, was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to an American mother and Cuban father.

“There are a lot of people who talk a good game about their faith, including Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz,” Armstrong Williams, business advisor to Carson, told CNN last week. “Dr. Carson lives it.”

The Republicans are slated to debate again Jan. 28 from Des Moines, Iowa with Fox News broadcasting the proceedings.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton holds a 49 to 37 percent lead in Iowa over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont with Ex-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley polling at six percent. Sanders, however, holds a slight edge in New Hampshire (49 to 45) site of the nation’s first primaries Feb. 9.

The Democrats are scheduled to debate again on Jan. 17 in Charleston, South Carolina in a format hosted by the National Black Caucus and moderated by NBC.

 


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